Free breakfasts and lunches for every student in the Rochester City School District isn't the only new initiative underway at RCSD this year.
About 32,000 students in grades K through 12 headed back to school in the City of Rochester on Wednesday. That meant a lot more buses on roadways and walkers on the sidewalks.
Many students were accompanied by their fathers or father figures in their lives. It's part of a district-wide movement called Operation MAN.
"Operation MAN is four focused; to be more visible in the school, support parent activities in the school and school activities in general, provide training for fathers and also use their skill set to allow them to provide training and also mentorship," said Willie J. Robinson, Jr., District Coordinator, Office of Parent Engagement.
"I think it’s great because all fathers should be involved in their children's education," said Daniel Fluellen Sr., a parent.
Robinson says Operation MAN, or Men of Action Network, is not meant to discount single parents, but instead get fathers and male role models more involved, show the school's young men they care, and are ready to make a difference.
"Every step a father makes is a large step. I don’t care how small you think it is, every step a father makes is large," he said.
Fathers were also encouraged to head inside the school and sign a pledge committing five volunteer hours a week to their child's school.